02 February 2016

Oil firefighters

On May 28, 1929, while drilling at a depth of 1460 meters, the No. 160 Romana-Americana well in Moreni, Romania blowout and caught fire.  The derrick was destroyed and the 100 m high flames could be seen in the city of Ploiesti over 50 km away. Attempts to extinguish the well were unsuccessful and the well burned for over two years. More than one hundred workers were injured and fourteen died.  By the spring of 1931, the fire had created a crater 76 meters wide and 20 meters deep.
Hired by the Romana-Americana Company, an affiliate of Standard Oil, Kinley arrived in Romania on crutches. Kinley first attempted to extinguish the No. 160 fire using a 200-pound charge of nitroglycerin, but without success.  Using a larger explosive charge, the fire was “snuffed out” but quickly reignited.  Using a combination of a large funnel-shaped cap, slanted tunnels, mud, water, and concrete, the fire was extinguished.  It took Kinley and his crew six months to extinguish the No. 160 well fire, for which he was paid $50,000.

The Moreni crew. Romania 1931. Myron furnished his own men to fight the Romanian blaze. 
Left to right American Grady Chupp, Myron, 
and Romanian Costica Lupa

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